Baker & McKenzie has revealed above average financial performance for 2012/13, with a global revenue increase of 5% to $2.419bn and profits per equity partner up by 10% to $1.2m. This growth comes in above the Legal Business Global 100 average of 4% increase in turnover and flat profits for the past financial year.
Over the last year Bakers, which has a financial year end of 30 June, has taken on 60 lateral partners, pushing its headcount up to over 4,100, an increase of 2% on last year’s figure of 4,000. These latest results see a return to 2011 profit levels for the 74-office firm after heavy investment saw its PEP dip to $1,090m in 2012.
The past year has seen Bakers continue to invest in new offices in Casablanca, Lima and Seoul and revenue is now almost equally divided between the global regions: Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) accounts for 37% of turnover, Asia Pacific 28% and the Americas 35%.
Latin America, where the firm stands out for having offices across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, has seen the most growth, together with North America and Asia Pacific. Chairman of the executive committee Eduardo Leite told Legal Business: ‘There is growth in the investment and trade within the emerging world from China to Africa, from Japan to South Africa, from Indonesia to South Africa. I think Asia for us is an engine of growth not a challenge of return on investment.’
‘Clients need to go to the growth markets and they feel very comfortable when they go to Turkey or South Africa or Colombia or Japan that we have partners who are Turkish, South African, Colombian or Japanese, not expats but second or third generation Bakers partners,’ Leite added.
Notable multi-jurisdictional transactions the firm has acted on during the last 12 months include Carlsberg Group’s $1.2bn public offer to buy Baltika Breweries; Toyota Tsusho’s agreement with PPR to expand its automotive business in Africa; and Mizuho Corporate Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Deutsche Bank’s $19.6bn debt financing of Softbank’s acquisition of a 70% interest in Sprint.